One Saturday, I drove down to Western Massachusetts for a zine fair and had the time of my life. Making zines have brought me to places I have never been and has been the best ice-breaker in new environments. I’ve taken part of zine fests in New Haven, Northampton, and Watertown, and a book festival in Woodstock. I would have never thought to come to these places on my own, without a purpose, so I’m thankful for zines that they have helped me come to love New England and see it in new ways.
Northampton has the charm of Vermont, but it’s in Western Mass, so it has way more people and the historic downtowns are much more developed. The event took place in an arts center. When I got there, there were dance classes and art exhibits taking place. The organizers were all super cool and I felt like an invited guest. I tabled next to an artist who made prints of natural and organic forms, and an awesome artist who ran a small thrift-and-arts nonprofit that does Risograph printing. I felt insanely cool that she wanted to trade zines with me.
They sold vegan pizza outside the event. Someone ran a print shop that unofficially only printed black goth-style tees and totes. Another zinester made a giant cat-pig-skull face and made it her emblem, printing it with Risograph in hot pink in giant, 24 inch prints. A brother and sister duo made laser-cut earrings in whimsical shapes, of course I had to purchase a bunch.
I felt like Northampton was the coolest place ever and I can’t wait to be back.